Villa Maria (ex Grand Hotel Eden)
Via del Parco Margherita, 1, Napoli, 80121 NA, Italia
From Piazza Amedeo to via Chiaia there are lots of ancient villas and small houses from every period very nice to watch. But, exactly in Piazza Amedeo, there is probably the most colourful building of the city. Where? Turn your head around… more… there, right behind you, behind the cable-car: the ex Grand Hotel Eden is today well know as Villa Maria.
Looking at it, you will definitely notice its banana trees and palm trees, and you might think you ended up in Africa. Actually you are right in front of the rich garden and nursery of this historical building.
Just pretending to be Indiana Jones, get closer and start exploring this beauty: its bright yellow colour, its light blue renaissance majolica, its vaults with amazing arcades, and its floral patterns which anticipates the Neapolitan liberty style. This villa is probably the only example of a real Arabian architecture, which gives this building such a particular looking, and gives the impression to be in front of a fairy tale castle.
The structure was made during 1901; initially it was planned to be a luxury hotel for foreigners, but just because the owner (Giulio Huraut) had economic issues, it was it just for a small time and its initial draft has never been accomplished. The name of this villa takes its name from the owner’s wife, Maria genevois, and today it’s private.
You wouldn’t believe it, but the real doozy is on its inside: the lift. What? The lift? Yes, the lift! You should believe us, because it’s worth it as it’s so unique, one of the few of this kind all around the city, made with cherry wood and purple sofas (a lift with a sofa!), and it smells like a library. Plow ahead, bring your butt cheek there and close your eyes; breathe in slowly and feel a little bit of that magnificent atmosphere from the Ancient Naples.
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